The Meaning of 'American-Made' Cars

So what is an American car? One made by my friends and neighbors, one made from materials and parts purchased locally, one that the first digit of the VIN is a 1, and one that has more than 50 percent “domestic content.”

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Industry Week reports that “Ford Plans Move for Compact Car Production Out of US.” What exactly does “buy American” mean these days?

In 2009, while two of the three bankrupt-thinking Detroit firms were using the government to bully their way through bankruptcy, running roughshod on their suppliers and creditors, I wrote a piece about “The New Domestics.” 

Here are a few points that I made in that article:

  • More than 70 percent of the value added in a new car is provided by the suppliers, not the assemblers
  • More than 300 companies have created jobs in Ohio as a result of the state’s “New Domestic” auto industry
  • Honda has plants or major operations in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas
  • Mercedes has a plant in Alabama, too
  • BMW has a plant in South Carolina
  • Volkswagen has broken ground for an assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee (it’s been making cars since 2011 and employs 2,000 people)

So what is an American car? One made by my friends and neighbors, made from materials and parts purchased locally, one that the first digit of the VIN is a 1, and one that has more than 50 percent “domestic content.”

If you want to know more about American cars in 2015, read “7 Most American Cars.” 

What is the U.S.’s leading auto exported abroad? Read the surprising answer here

Postscript: This is not to diminish the role of Canadian manufacturers, nor their vehicle assembly plants. PMPA members in Canada produce high volumes of high technology system parts for the automotive markets—fuel injectors, anti-lock brake parts, fluid power system components and much, much more. But the irony of the whole Ford “wrap ourselves in the flag while we really export your jobs” marketing is the “driver” behind this post.

Originally posted on PMPAspeakingofprecision.com blog.